Photo © Bob Gress
11 1/4 - 12 3/4 inches
25 1/2 - 27 3/4 inches
Dove-sized, usually upright posture, long neck and tail, small head, big eyes,
short bicolored bill and yellow legs characterize this species. Their plumage is
straw-colored with dark streaks and a white belly. They have a distinctive wolf
whistle call. The flight pattern consists of stiff, shallow wingbeats followed by
glides. After landing, they often keep their wings raised momentarily before lowering
- Similar Species:
Buff-breasted Sandpipers migrating through the Great
Plains are similar but smaller, stockier and buff-colored over the entire body with a
shorter neck and legs. Upland Sandpipers have a straight, short bill and light colored
legs which distinguish them from curlews and godwits.
- Comments: Formerly
called Upland Plovers, they are often viewed at close range perched on fence posts or
other high points surveying their grassland surroundings. They feed alone or in small
groups in grasslands and plowed fields. Grass cover in the tallgrass and mixed prairies of
the Great Plains are required for breeding. They winter in the South American pampas.
For more information, visit the GPNC portrait page for the Upland Sandpiper.
Text: Suzanne Fellows and Bob Gress
Web Design: Jim Mason